I.e. unlike the Kobayashi Maru which is setup as a "no-win" scenario, is the expectation that all Dauntless initiates should have a solution within the phase 2 test if the initiate simply practices enough? Hence, any initiate that does NOT find a solution can summarily be cut?

In the movie during one scene Tris proposes a "solution" that would work because she knows the simulation is not real.

However, Four claims that is not valid. That each initiate has to "find some tool, some method to survive." If so, it begs the followup question, what determines what "solution" options exist within the test for each individual and what is considered "valid" for a Dauntless."

Say an initiate was being attacked by animals, could he/she simply imagine up a flamethrower? That certainly seems like an aggressive way a Dauntless might respond. But, I suspect that would either not be possible or not allowed.

I have not read the book, so would be interested if there is more information not available in the movie on how the Test actually works.


  • 1
    i believe that through the drug the fear simulations have a way to pass them already "set" or a few ways such as the testing simulation, were we see tris have choices. while the normal dauntless have to figure out, how to pass their tests while believing its real, tris understands as divergent that it isn't real, and she can bend the test, force things to change. for example if someones fear was fire, they would probably be in a burning building and would have to somehow go through to fire to get out, tris on the other hand could make a fire extinguisher appear ect.
    – Himarm
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


The Kobayashi Maru test, as Kirk says, is "a test of character. How we face death is at least as important as how we face life." It's intention is to gain information on a potential commander's personality, to see and develop their character and the way they handle seemingly or actually unwinnable situations, and to help them reflect on that so they can develop that aspect of themselves.

The level 2 tests in the film Divergent have different purposes, but some similarities. As Four mentions, he has tried re-taking the tests attempting to overcome his worst fears, but has never been able to. The level 2 tests are also weeding-out tests, where the lowest performers are thrown out of Dauntless. They can also detect Divergents. Like the level 1 tests and training, they are designed to develop strength and eliminate weakness, in this case around deepest fears for each person. They are about overcoming fears, unlike Kobayashi Maru, which is about doing one's best in an unsurmountable situation. However, they are like each other in that they force participants to face nightmare scenarios and challenge them to improve their own weaknesses in those areas.


The Dauntless initiation process is where a serum is injected into you and you hallucinate your worst fears. Your 'score' for initiation is how long it takes you to get OUT of the hallucination. This can be done by slowing your heart rate or even slowing your breathing.

A 'Dauntless' way of doing this is either overcoming the fear and moving on to the next hallucination, or thinking of an option that does not involve showing weakness, like killing whatever is threatening you.

A Dauntless is supposed to be brave, strong, unafraid. If you were, say, attacked by a massive spider, the Dauntless would find a weapon or a simple way to kill the spider.

Hope this helped.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.